Movie Diary 6/30/2015

One Cut, One Life (Ed Pincus, Lucia Small, 2014). Final testament for the documentary maker Pincus, who chose to film his last months with a terminal illness, to the consternation of everybody. Not really an illness movie, more of a “Why do we feel the need to document every moment?” movie. (full review 7/3)

When Marnie Was There (Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2014). A Studio Ghibli deal, about a shy type who goes to the seaside for a summer and befriends the possibly ghostly girl in the mysterious mansion across the tidal flats. Not as luminous as Yonebayashi’s Secret World of Arietty, but plenty easy on the eyes nonetheless. (full review 7/3)

Sunshine Gueros (This Week’s Movies)

Ilse Salas: Gueros

Ilse Salas: Gueros

Links to my reviews published in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Sunshine Superman. “Their charismatic leader appears to have a screw loose.” (Weekly version here.)

Güeros. “Who thought of the continental breakfast?” (Seattle Weekly version here.)

At the Overlook Podcast, Steve Scher and I think about the ways movies create whole worlds. Case in point: Only Angels Have Wings. Listen here.

Movie Diary 6/24/2015

Sunshine Superman (Marah Strauch, 2014). Documentary portrait of BASE jumping pioneer Carl Boenish, a manic oddball who liked to make movies as he fell off cliffs and buildings and bridges. Carl’s footage is woven together with interviews with other BASE enthusiasts (the ones who are still alive to talk about it), including Carl’s equally eccentric wife Jean. There is undoubtedly a large audience of people who will tune in to this movie’s efforts to make all this seem sunny and liberating, and then there will be the rest of us. (full review 6/26)

Movie Diary 6/22/2015

Macario (Robert Gavaldón, 1960). A starving peasant is given the power to cure the sick – a set-up with the weight of an age-old folk tale but with a wry humor as well. It’s actually based on a story by mystery man B. Traven, of Treasure of the Sierra Madre fame. The leading lady is Pina Pellicer, who starred opposite Brando in One Eyed Jacks. The Day of the Dead imagery is zestfully photographed by Gabriel Figueroa, who is more in his moody-interior mode here than the sunlight-through-backlit-clouds mode. It was nominated for the Foreign Language Oscar, but didn’t win – understandable against The Virgin Spring, but this is a marvelous film in its own right.. Showed as part of a Mexican cinema emphasis at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Güeros (Alonso Ruizpalacios, 2014). Two Mexican films in the same day – both in black and white, and both shot in Academy ratio. The similarities leave off there. This one is about slackerish Mexico City youths who try to avoid getting involved in a student strike in 1999. The film’s full of jokes and intentional dead ends and a few fourth-wall-breaking gimmicks, but somehow it works. (full review 6/26)

Wolfpack, The (This Week’s Movies)

Some of the Angulo brothers: The Wolfpack

Some of the Angulo brothers: The Wolfpack

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

The Wolfpack. “What saved them, apparently, was the movies.” (Weekly version here.)

Look to the Overlook Podcast, where Steve Scher and I will undoubtedly be talking about the movies.

Movie Diary 6/17/2015

Howards End (James Ivory, 1992). A pleasing adaptation, and what a cast – the scenes with Emma Thompson and Vanessa Redgrave constitute a master class. Even Ivory’s usual sober attitude is knocked into the occasional swoon (the boat drifting off course into a thicket as two people grope for a long-deferred kiss). Yes, it is possible to miss Merchant Ivory.

Movie Diary 6/16/2015

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle, 2015). It’s a strange and headline-making subject for a documentary, that’s for sure – a brood of teenagers raised without experiencing the outside world. But there’s also something stirring about the subtext: That art (in this case, movies) can be a way of learning how to live, even if the circumstances are utterly bizarre. (full review 6/19)


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